Too busy to vote?


Seems as if voter apathy will continue ad infinitum. The fact that the number of non-voters exceeds voters is just mind-boggling. People so wrapped up in their “important” lives, that they choose not to cast their very important right to vote.

Yet, sometime down the line, practically each and every one of them (the non-voters) will complain about something that they could have had a chance to change or influence. Whether it’s a new tax, an infrastructure problem (read: flooding), or anything else they effectively allowed to happen because of their unwillingness to “care” at the time.

Here’s an article from the Associated Press:

Not voting: Too busy, don’t care

busy hoboken - Too busy to vote?While others are pulling levers or touching screens on voting machines throughout New Jersey on Tuesday, Marjorie Perez will be dying hair and filing fingernails.

The 22-year-old Atlantic City woman said she’s never registered to vote and has no plans to cast a ballot, this year or any other.

“People vote, and nothing ever happens,” said Perez, who works at a beauty parlor a few blocks from the casinos. “It’s always the same thing. One vote from me is not going to change anything … It doesn’t affect me or my life at all.”

It was a common refrain in interviews across the state with people who aren’t planning to vote. Other common excuses: I’m too busy; I don’t care about politics; all politicians are corrupt; I don’t want to go out in the rain.

In every election, the number of people who don’t vote far exceeds the number who do. Even among those who are registered to vote, people who actually cast a ballot are usually outnumbered by those who don’t although presidential elections tend to be the exception.

Why the disconnect?

“‘Life is complicated and this is not important to me and I’m busy,'” said Ingrid Reed, director of the New Jersey Project at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics, describing some of the reasons why people don’t vote.

Reed said the Garden State’s well-deserved reputation for political corruption is turning some voters off. Mike Agios, a Point Pleasant Beach auto mechanic, is among them.

“I’m disgusted with politicians, completely,” he said Tuesday morning, taking a break from working on one of a half-dozen cars awaiting servicing. “They’re all crooks. They do nothing for the people.
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“If you add up all the people who feel like me, that’s a substantial number of votes,” he added.

Nulkis Martinez of Atlantic City said she is too busy with day-to-day chores to vote.

“I just don’t have the time,” she said.

Reed said most voters don’t know which legislative district they live in, making for very little interest in an election topped by the state Legislature.

Turnout tends to be higher in elections with a statewide or national office up for vote. In 2003, the last time the Legislature topped the ballot, only 34 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

It’s generally believed that voter turnout is higher when the weather is good. Tuesday’s morning showers probably did not help.

New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine, voting at a Hoboken fire station Tuesday morning, called on voters to ignore the rain and go to the polls.

Nearly 4.8 million New Jerseyans are registered to vote in this election, including 1.1 million Democrats, 874,457 Republicans, and 2.7 million unaffiliated voters.

About two hours after polls opened Tuesday, 20-year-old Gavin Pemberton stopped at a coffee shop in Mount Laurel. He said he was headed to his job at a credit repair agency and would not be able to get to the polls. “It’s pretty hard to get off,” he explained.

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